The Guy’s Guide to Valentine’s Day
By Mike Savicki
Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls and elevate yourself to Romantic Champion of the World in one single day
So, guys, here’s the good news first. If you are reading this on or before February 13th then you haven’t done anything wrong just yet. To be more specific, you haven’t missed Valentine’s Day.
Now for the bad news. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and it’s not one of those holidays that your wife or girlfriend is going to forget. Don’t even pray she might. You have work to do. The time to act is now. Roll up your sleeves, chest bump your confidence and make it happen. You can do this.
Let’s start with the basics. Valentine’s Day is that that wretched day created by women, Hallmark and Godiva Chocolatier to make men feel even guiltier than we already do about coming home late from work, not picking up after ourselves and forgetting to take out the trash.
It’s as simple as that.
I’ll go on record by saying that if we keep the above definition in mind from the start, and come to terms with the idea that no combination of flowers, chocolates, candies, wine, cheese and pampering packed into one single day can possibly repay the special women in our lives for all that they do for us every single day of the year, then the likelihood of pulling off a day for the record books is high. That said, your day still needs to include some combination of flowers, chocolates, candies, wine, cheese and pampering.
Oh, one more basic. A Hallmark card. Why a Hallmark? I’m not exactly sure, but whenever I’m card shopping, the Hallmark cards always seem to be in shortest supply. I’m guessing they are the best because that’s what most people are buying.
Now for the creative part. You need to come up with an awesomely awesome gift. If you turn on the television or radio or open a web browser this month, you’re more than likely being bombarded with ads for diamonds, teddy bears from a certain northern New England state or customized snuggly things. Here’s my advice: diamonds work, but nothing else mentioned above should even be considered or purchased. But diamonds are expensive.
Skip the Internet for present shopping. If you Google “Valentine’s Day gifts for her” you’re basically going to come up with hundreds of pages of the same things we talked about above and all you’ll get is lost and confused. And no matter how hard you try not to do it, two clicks in to your search, you’ll be on a sports page reading about why every other city’s teams are better than ours and you’ll just wind up feeling sad and angry.
The only thing the Internet should be used for at Valentine’s Day is finding a romantic quote to support your game plan. I’ll save you the effort. Go with this. Tell her Pablo Picasso believed “love is the greatest refreshment in life”, so that’s why you didn’t buy her wine, and mention Tennyson stated “love is the only gold”, so that’s why you left the jewelry in the store cases. Let me know if it works for you; I think it should. But if it doesn’t, well, you didn’t read it here.
Here’s my best suggestion for a gift. Go to Paper Skyscraper on East Boulevard and browse the shelves. Trust me, those guys have amazing talent when it comes to finding awesomely awesome gifts, so take advantage of their creativity and reap the benefits. Plus, if you hate shopping, you can be in and out in 10 minutes, no problem, and there is a tasty Thai food place next door.
Oh, and while you are in there (the store, not the Thai food place), get something for her pet dog or cat, too. There’s your closer.
Now, for those of you reading this on or after February 14th, you can still somewhat save yourself. Sure, the Hallmark cards and cool gifts will be gone and any flowers left in the grocery store will likely be wilted, but that’s just par for the course. You can play a mulligan. Whenever you realize it is (or was) Valentine’s Day, just pull your sweetheart close, look her in the eye, say you are sorry, then tell her you love her and she kicks ass. Do it just like that. A kiss might help, too.
Then start planning for next year.
If there is a next year for you!
This essay was originally published in Today’s Charlotte Woman Magazine in 2013.